EXCLUSIVE! Auli'i Cravalho isn't afraid to get wacky in her new Disney show, Hailey's On It

By now, you should know Auli'i Cravalho's face (or, at least her voice from 2016's mega musical Moana). She's starred in everything from Hulu's teen LGBTQ rom-com Crush to Amazon's drama-filled sci-fi series The Power. Even more good news? She's also slated to play the legendary role of Janis Sarkisian in the upcoming movie musical adaptation of Mean Girls. Soooo fetch, right?

Lucky for us, Auli'i has returned to voice acting for the first time since Moana in an all-new animated Disney series, Hailey's On It. Auli'i voices main character Hailey Banks, whose life is turned upside down when she's visited by a scientist from the future. With tons of adventure, silliness and maybe even a little ~romance~, Hailey's On It is a definite must-watch for this summer. Warning: It may inspire you to check a few items off your own bucket list, too.

The show premiered on Thursday, June 8 on Disney Channel and is now streaming on Disney+. Auli'i answered all of our questions about her new projects, her love of voice acting and, of course, what crazy challenges she'd be willing to take on in order to save the world. 

Girls' Life: Your new show Hailey's On It is the first time you're voicing a lead character since Moana. Did you miss doing voice acting? 

Auli'i: I absolutely love animation, and I love working on voiceover. I really just get to walk into a box, have a microphone in front of me and just act like a complete gremlin. I love to be wacky and fun, so telling a story in my own voice makes me so happy. I've been lucky enough in my career to play characters who are young women of color that take on risks and want to change the world around them. They aren't afraid to use their voice for good.

GL: Is voice acting for a TV show much different from voice acting for a feature-length movie?

Auli'i: That's a very good question. Having done a film, it's a much longer set up—you're hitting the climax of the film, and then you have a whole resolution. For an animated series, you have like 20 minutes to do all of that. It's a lot faster in pace. 


GL:  Why, in your opinion, does it matter for younger viewers to be able to see on-screen diversity? 

Auli'i: The first time I saw myself through animation was with Lilo & Stitch. And I remember it, like, blew my mind. I felt so seen. I feel the same way when I watch films or anything live-action where I go, "I see myself, therefore I can dream a little bit bigger." I'm so grateful that Hailey's On It reflects that same theme. Hopefully, as I continue to grow in this industry, we can have that diversity in front of the camera, behind the camera, in the writers' rooms. Our stories become so much richer when we have people with lived experience writing the stories.

GL: Do you feel like you can relate to Hailey's character?

Auli'i: Yes, absolutely! When I was playing Hailey, I feel like she inspired me to try to tick these seemingly scary items off of my own bucket list. Like, I want to adopt at least three to five more cats. I want to be in a Marvel film, eventually. I also want to go to college. We all have our own list items, big or small, that might be challenging, but gosh—they're so worth it.

GL: What other parts of the show are you most excited for people to see? Or hear?

Auli'i: Our series has such lovely humor to it. I love my team so much because they let me play different characters as well. So, I've played quite a few characters in my own vocal range and in my own voice. We also have a ton of songs. Hailey sings a pop ballad in one episode and then raps about hats, a la Hamilton, in another episode. So there's a lot of really just fantastic scenes that I—as an actor and as a viewer—fully enjoy.


Auli'i's On It

We asked Auli'i to put herself in Hailey's shoes and decide which of these challenges she'd be more willing to take save the world, of course!

Would you a half-marathon or do a figure skating routine for Olympic judges?

"I would much rather do the figure skating in front of judges. You could do, like, a hip hop routine on ice. And that's iconic whether you do it well or not."

Would you rather...only eat sweet or spicy food?

"I think I would rather eat spicy food than all sweets. I still want teeth, you know? "

Would you rather...give up movies for a month or give up listening to music for a month?

"Movies, for sure. I don't consume a lot of TV because I'm overwhelmed by the quantity that's out there. But if I gave up music for a month? What am I supposed to do, drive my car in silence? I think I would go insane."

Tell us your fave moments from the first episode of Hailey's On It on Twitter @girlslifemag!

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Top image: Raul Romo
Slider image: @auliicravalho
All stills from show and "Hailey's On It" poster provided by Disney Channel.  


by Madelon Basil | 6/9/2023